Court restraints Tukur, PDP, INEC from declaring defecting Senators, Reps seats vacant

By The Citizen

The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday granted an interlocutory injunction restraining the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, its Chairman, Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC and the Senate President and Speaker of House of Representatives from declaring the seats of the defecting federal lawmakers to the All Progressives Congress vacant.

The leadership of the PDP had gone to court praying that the seats of its members who defected to the opposition party of APC should be declared vacant.

But in a bid to save their seats 22 Senators and 57 members of House of Representatives who were aggrieved members of the party that floated the then New PDP that had indicated interest to join APC approached the federal High Court to stop declaration of their seat vacant.

In his ruling on the Motion on Notice, the Presiding Judge, Justice A. R. Mohammed said, 'Upon the case coming up for hearing of the Plaintiffs Motion on Notice, dated and filed on the 28th day of November, 2013 for order of interlocutory injunction.

'After hearing Tairu Adebayo Esq with A. A. Muhammed Esq, of counsel for the Plaintiffs; henry Micheal-Ihunde Esq with C.P. Nzedebe Esq of counsel for the 1st (Bamanga Tukur) and 4th (PDP) Defendants/Applicants moved in terms of the motion paper; 2nd (Senate President) and 3rd (Speaker, House of Rpresentatives) Defendants have been fully served but absent and not represented in Court by counsel; Abdulaziz Sani Esq with Rahimatu Aminu (Mrs.) Esq and Ibrahim S. Mohammed of counsel for the 5th Defendant/Applicant (INEC).

'It is hereby ordered as follows: The 2nd and 3rd Defendants should be asked to maintain status quo on any proposed deliberation to declare the seats of the affected and interested Plaintiffs vacant, at least, pending the hearing and determination of the Plaintiffs motion for interlocutory injunction.'

The Judge directed the parties and in particular the 2nd and 3rd Defendants to maintain status quo on any proposed deliberation to declare the seats of the affected/interested Plaintiffs in the suit vacant pending the hearing and determination of the motion.

The case was adjourned to 22nd of January, 2014 for hearing